Today’s post is by Lance, my husband.
In our last post, Tori mentioned that she may have to dig into her emergency fund. At the time, she did not have a date when she would be able to start working again after getting cleared to return to work from her disability. Luckily, things have changed and Tori was able to go back to work and she’s earning a paycheck once again!
Why We Didn’t Have To Dip Into Our Emergency Fund
There were a few reasons why we didn’t have to dip into our emergency fund, some of which were in our control and others that weren’t in our control.
Tori had a week of PTO that she was able to take, which allowed us to get a little bit of income while she was waiting to be offered a position. This gave us a little bit of extra income before we had to dip into our emergency fund. Every dollar counts when you’re not sure when the next paycheck will come.
The next factor that allowed us to not use our emergency fund was the fact that Tori only had to go two weeks without a position at work. Since we were able to use PTO for the first week, we only missed having an income for one week which was huge! Of course, this wasn’t in our control at all. We were at the mercy of her employer.
Another thing we had going in our favor was the fact that we prepared in advance. Once we knew that it looked unlikely that Tori would actually start on her return to work date we began saving money and cutting our expenses. We also decided to quit making extra payments on her student loan debt. This allowed us to have a bit more money in our checking account that easily got us through the week with no pay.
What You Can Do When The Future Is Uncertain
When your future is uncertain in regards to your income you should begin taking steps to prepare for the worst case. Do what we did and be proactive with your money. Quit spending like you have a stable income that you know will come in every month. Start saving that extra money that you weren’t expecting. Stop using money in discretionary ways, like we stopped making extra payments on Tori’s student loans.
Every situation is different, so these steps may not work for you in your situation. If you have 3 years worth of expenses sitting in cash, you probably don’t need to worry about losing your income for a short period of time. If you have less than $1,000 in the bank account, though, it is time to kick it into high gear and get prepared!
When was the last time you had to dip into your emergency fund?